In Praise of Policy

Policy is a dirty word, but it doesn’t have to be a prescriptive document running to three volumes.

When I hear “policy” I have a deep sense of dread that only working at the BBC for many years can give you. I fear opening the 40 page manual described in prescriptive detail what should, shouldn’t, must and can’t be done for every scenario. Well, invariably every scenario apart from the one that you’re facing at that moment: which could be one of two with contradictory advice.

I think we all share this healthy skepticism for excessive policy, but I realised when writing an article on Social Media and Business that policy was exactly what you needed. I started off talking about URLS, and tools like hoot suite, before realising the real thing to get right is the underlying policy: what are we trying to get done here.

It doesn’t need to be a massive tomb, it doesn’t need to have flowcharts. It could just be a list of 5 bullet-points that cover what you’re doing.

Once you can succinctly sum up what you’re trying to do, doing it is invariably much easier.